Every.Single.Successful client I have has said the exact same thing to me, “I do not have time to spend on social media.” When your business is booming you simply do not have the time to post on social media and honestly, most of my clients are so busy growing a business that they do not actually have a strategy when it comes to marketing and social media. In fact, most simply post because they have been told it's important and that they need it but do not actually know what drives engagement, creates leads or generates sales. Posting random content and hoping for the best is just not an effective strategy and most definitely is not worth spending your time on.
However, a well thought out, actionable social media marketing strategy can be just thing to catapult your business to the next level and the secret is that it does not need to consume all your time and energy! Do I have your attention now?
Below are the steps I use when working with a client to plan their content:
The holiday season is here! Can you believe it? I know I can’t! While the excitement builds, and you’re busy planning on a personal end, it’s important to start getting your business into holiday marketing mode as well. It can take time to organize for such a large promotion, so getting started early will make it much simpler! Here are 5 tips to get started preparing your business for the holidays.
When getting in the spirit of the holidays, its important to do your research. Look at what happened last year in your business, that of your competitors, in your industry and in other similar industries. You need to take the time to do the proper research to ensure that you have a solid holiday marketing plan and offers. Doing this research is something that many business owners don’t prioritize, however, its going to be essential to your success during the holiday season.
During the research phase, set solid goals for your holiday marketing efforts and create a simple step by step plan to reach them.
Create Your Offers
Everyone, and I mean everyone, is looking to score a deal during the holiday season. Think about the products or services you offer. Then think about what you would be looking for at this time of the year if you were in your ideal client’s shoes. Create a list of offer ideas and take some time to stew on them. Giving yourself some time by creating your offers in advance, gives you the opportunity to determine which options are the best fit for you to offer.
Are you ready for the holidays?
Now, I don't mean is your Christmas shopping done. What I am asking is if your business is ready for the Holiday Season? Do you have a plan for your holiday marketing and social media?
Have you decided what your holiday offering is? Do you know where and how you are going to market your products and services this season? When your shipping deadlines are? No?
Don't worry, I am sharing my planning strategy that will guarantee the best Christmas season your business has ever seen!! (And who knows, maybe you'll enjoy the holidays with your friends and family a little more this year!)
I don't know about you but I CRASHED into September. The summer is over, the kids are back to school, back to activities and back to routine! And on top of what's happening in our families, our businesses also tend to get busy. Before we know it BAM it's October 1st and Black Friday is LESS THAN 2 MONTHS AWAY!!!
My goal is to get you holiday ready. Create a plan and execute it. So lets get started!!
As a social media manager I work with multiple clients and social media accounts including my own! It can be difficult to organize, create and schedule all this content and still have to time to live my life!
One of the biggest reasons people come to me is because the simply do not have time to do all the things that they think they should be doing on social while managing a business and home. In this post I am going to share how I research, organize, create and curate content then schedule it for my social media. I’m not going to lie to you here, social media is a tonne of work, but this workflow will help you manage “ALL” the things that you need to do to grow your social with your own content.
Based on your research, put together a plan for the month. Think about a few things.
Brain dump any and everything that is relevant to your target audience based on the above research that you have done then create and curate content around those ideas and topics. Search the Internet, YouTube, Pinterest or Facebook for content to share on your social platforms that resonate with your audience. This can include viral videos, quotes and articles that you can mix in with your own content to be more diverse. This will also help you create your own content for your audience.
Types of Content that you can create for your business includes:
Create a schedule of your posts based on the content that you have created and collected. Determine what your goals are for the week/month or quarter and schedule that content in a way that makes sense with your business' timeline and over arching themes. Plan your daily posts based on what you can commit to.
Once you have your schedule created go ahead an schedule your content! Depending on your posting frequency and the platforms you are using you should consider a scheduler tool. There are multiple tools out there that you can use that can post to multiple platforms and do a variety of tasks that will make your life so much easier!! One of my favorite tools for Pinterest and Instagram is Tailwind if you'd like to try it.
To make your life a little simpler I have created a list of my Favorite FREE (or Cheap) Social Media Management Tools. This list of tools, programs and apps will help you to save time and money while creating a killer social media following for your business!!
This page contains affiliate links and we have advertising relationships with the stores and companies in this post.
Today we are talking Top Posts on Instagram. As a social media manager getting my posts and my client's posts into the coveted "Top Posts" spot for their hashtags is my goal every time I post to Instagram. Why? When your picture is featured as one of 9 Top Posts for that hashtag it stays at the top of the hashtag feed for about 24 hours, sometimes less and sometimes longer. This means that your post stays at the top of that hashtag feed rather than being pushed further down the feed as more posts are using that specific hashtag.
How the engagement rate works:
For example, your account size is 450 followers large. You make a post that gets 45 likes and 5 comments. This means that your engagement rate is over 11%. This is why you want to use niche hashtags that are the appropriate size for your account.
It is not about how big your following is it is about how engaged your followers are! You can be a small account and get into the Top Post if you have a super engaged following but it is important to be mindful of the size of the hashtags that you are using. Smaller hashtag will be easier to get into the Top Post spots than a large, trending hashtag. I suggest that as your account grows the size of your hashtag grows. As a general rule, do not use tags that are smaller than 5000 or larger than 500, 000 when you are a smaller account. The engagement rate will be better meaning your likelihood of getting into a Top Post is better. If you use a hashtag that is too small you may easily get into the Top Post but you may have a slower growth rate because those small hashtags are not being used as often.
On the flip side, if you have an account that is stagnant or has gotten a lot autobot followers you will plateau because those audiences are not engaged. Ensure that you are consistently posting quality content and engaging with your audience so that your existing followers do not forget about you or get bored. You also, want to make sure that you are not just using hashtags that get you quick likes/follows from accounts that do not care about what is your sharing (selling).
Top Posts are great but...
It is more important to target your ideal client. Why? so you convert more followers into customers!! Do not just use hashtags that are good for quick likes because these likes are not necessarily from your target market. Meaning that you need to be careful not to focus solely on quick growth but rather focus on growing your account with followers that are in your target market. It may not be rapid growth but if it is target market growth your going to convert more followers to customers rather than just followers. Make sense?
How can I ensure that I am targeting the right audiences?
I suggest to ensure that you are targeting the right people for your Instagram that you break your hashtags up into the following categories:
1. Description Tags - These hashtags should make-up about 20% allowed 30 hashtags. These hashtags describe the actual picture and the content of your post.
2. Community Tags - These hashtags also make up 20% or 6 hashtags of your thirty. They describe you, your business, industry or community – not your audience.
3. Audience Tags - These tags make up the bulk of your 30 hashtags at 60% or 18 tags. They will be used to target your ideal client. (These are the most important!)
For more information check out my How To Find The "Right" Hashtags For Instagram blog post.
If you break-up your hashtags this way you will ensure a balance of some quick like tags and your target market tags which will help you to not just grow your account but create a community of engaged and interested followers - and isn't that the ultimate goal!!
Let me know about your hashtag success and if you are getting into those Top Post posts!!
Hashtags are one of the most under-utilized and misused tools on Instagram. Does that mean that you should not use them? NO!! You most definitely should be using Hathstags with every single post - unless you are not trying to grow your Insta but let's be real - when are we not trying to grow our followings?!?!?!
When I say that hashtags are under-utilized and misused on Instragram I know that you know what I am talking about! You have heard a million times that you need to use hashtags on Instragram but do you know HOW to properly use them and utilize their full potential? Honestly, most people don't so please do not embarrassed if this is you as I am sure we have all been there!! The important thing is to figure out HOW to best use hashtags for YOUR business and What hashtags are best for your business. If you are want to be the best at hashtags keep reading!
Hashtags are how Instagram categorizes content and it is how people find you! Users not only follow accounts but they also like to "follow" hashtags as these are generally things that are trending or most important to them! This is why you want to know what hashtags your audience is using so you stay relevant, don't get lost in millions of posts and to attract your ideal client.
1. Use 30 hashtags! It is a fact that posts with hashtags get way more engagement and perform better in the Instagram algorithm better than tags that do not have hashtags. Now if you are a personal, private account your posts will still be hidden from the people that are not your approved followers on Instagram but you probably do not want strangers to follow you if you are not a business or someone who is hoping to monetize their Insta account.
2. Use Hashtags that have more that 5000 posts and less than 50,000 posts to start. You can build your way up to larger hashtag feeds but start small so that you can get into the Top Posts for your hashtags. Using a super popular tag like #coffeelover is pointless unless you have thousands of followers already as you will just get lost in the feed because millions of people are also using that tag.
3. Put your hashtags in the first comment ASAP. No need to clutter your caption with 30 hashtags (and it looks a little spammy) as you can place them in your first comment. *Remember though, if doing the first comment it is essential to post your tags ASAP. Even waiting a few minutes could lessen your chance of getting into the Top Posts for your hashtags. Adding tags to your post either in the comment or caption later does not boost your post. It goes into the algorithm as soon as posted and it ranks immediately so it is SUPER IMPORTANT to put your hashtags in immediately so people find you ASAP, like/comment on your post and you move in to the top spot!
4. Hashtag Breakdown:
Description Tags - 6 Hashtags: Should be pertinent to what the actual post/picture is about. If you are doing a post about National Coffee Day that should be what 6 of those tags are about - #coffeelover, #nationalcoffeeday, #butfirstcoffee, etc.
Community Tags - 6 Hashtags: These tags should be about you, your service/business or your community. These are the most overused tags I see and are great for quick likes but they result in followers that are similar to you or are your competition rather than your target audience. These followers are great to build your online community or support system but they do not target your ideal clients meaning, they generally do not turn into sales. An example of these tags if you are a handmade seller may include - #handmadeseller, #supportlocal, #madewithlove, etc.
Audience Tags - 18 Hashtags: These are your audience centric tags. These should be tags that your audience would use are NOT necessarily tags that describe your service or product. This is different for everyone because we all have a different service or product and target market. Spend the bulk of your time focusing on tags that your target market are using. Think of it as a hangout spot - you want to find out where your customers are hanging out and join them.
How do I find my Audience centric tags?
What I would suggest doing is checking out your competition or industry influencers and see who is following them. Choose an account with the same or similar target audience or niche as yours.
1. Check out their tags and the content they are sharing.
2. See what their followers are using. This will help you get to know your audience a bit better. While you are doing that I'd also suggest that you try to engage with them. Comment or like their posts.
Hashtags require some research and patience on your end. As badly as we all want overnight success it is just not the reality for most of us BUT you can grow your account organically and targeted to your ideal client with the help of some great hashtags!!
Instagram and hashtags are a lot of work. If you need a little more help with your #hahstags you can grab my Hashtag Research Workbook for only $9.99. The workbook along with a bonus training video is designed to walk you through the steps required to find your perfect hashtags and grow your loyal Instagram following.
Have a great day!
As a social media manager one of the top things that I am asked on an almost daily basis is how to win at Instagram. Instagram for your personal use is very different from business use. When it comes to using social media for business people feel overwhelmed and confused. What are hashtags? How do I use them? Where do I find the right hashtags? What are Instagram stories? Why am I not gaining any followers? How often should I post? The list goes on!
Today I am going to share with you a few simple, yet effective ways to win at Instagam.
1. Complete your Instagram bio. This is crucial because it is your one chance at a good first impression. Our attention span is incredibly short, only a few seconds long, so if you don't grab your audience here odds are that they will move on and not follow you.
Make sure all the fields are completed, especially the bio and your link. The bio is important because this is your chance to tell potential followers what you do (why they should follow you). A big proponent of using Instagram for your business is engagement which includes following other accounts (I'll get into this more) but if I land on your account and don't know what the heck you do or sell I am moving on. Be clear on what it is you do/sell. While I love to know about your kids or wine drinking habits that is not why I would follow a business account. You can trickle these things into your feed but your bio should be clear and concise about your business/brand.
FILL IN THE WEBSITE SPACE!!! This is (in my opinion) the most valuable piece of real-estate available to you on Instagram. It is the ONLY place you can include a clickable link in your account, This is so important because this is where you will funnel your followers to your website, Facebook page/group, your sales lead page, your Etsy shop, etc. If I am shopping on Instagram or checking out someone's services and there is no link in their bio I move on, most people will not search any further for that information.
2. Hashtags. Instagram uses hashtags to categorize content and this is how your posts/account/information is found on Insta - this is why hashtags are soooooo important on Instagram. My research has shown that not using hashtags in a post is detrimental to growing your following. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags PER post. It makes me sad when I see accounts using only 1 or 2 hashtags because they are not taking advantage of Instagram's' hashtags search/find capabilities for your business!!
Now do not just throw in 30 random hashtags, spend some time and research the hashtags that are relevant to your audience. A few key things to note about hashtags:
3. What to post??? This is probably the are m clients (and everyone else!) struggle with the most! This is also one of the most difficult to answer because it is so dependant on your target audience. Everyone's is different! Besides promotional posts you should be posting content that is relevant to your target audience. It is really important to know your ideal client for this reason!! If you are posting content that doesn't connect with or serve your ideal client then you will have trouble gaining engaged & loyal followers which translates into potential sales. SO whether you are posting an inspirational quote, a question, a meme or a picture make sure it is relevant. Always ask yourself, "how does this post serve my audience".
4. A Call To Action. This is where your get to tell your followers what to do! Research shows that if you tell your audience what you want them to do that they are more likely to do so. A call to action does not need to be an aggressive sales pitch or even a sales pitch at all but it does help to spark engagement with your followers. Remember how I mentioned that valuable piece of real-estate in your bio, the only clickable link available to you in IG? Direct your followers to click the link in bio for more information. Another example of a call to action would be to encourage your followers to comment or like your post. This is a great way to engage your followers and start a conversation.
5. Engagement. Engagement is probably the number one key to rocking Instagram! It does not matter if you are doing absolutely everything right on Instagram if you are not engaging your followers and other accounts you will not grow on Instagram.
Always reply/respond to comments on your posts - do not ignore engagement. The more engagement on a post the better so thank and respond to commenters! Make sure that you are using more than 3 words and NOT just a handful of emoji's. This often look like a robot commenting not only to humans but also to the Instagram algorithm.
Engage with posts that are using the hashtags you use. If they are using audience centric hashtags then the accounts using those tags will include your target audience. I suggest trying to like/comment on about 40-50 posts per day.
A good way to find your target audience is to see what hashtags your competitors are using and WHO is following your competition. Simply click on the accounts that are following them then go through and comment/like on posts that make sense for your audience.
Now get out there and implement these tips. Share your success or questions in the comments below!
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Enjoy the day!
My name is Melanie Stoppler and I am a mompreneur! I am passionate about many things in my life including being a wife, mother, coffee connoisseur, wine lover & a social media marketing strategist.